Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Lily blooms on bloodied ground!

Amanda Devereux meets the locals
I've just added a new landing page to the blog, which gives me another excuse to share the rather epic picture I've had commissioned by Deviantart artist Blunt Katana. I'm planning to add a fair few more resources to the page, but mostly it's so people interested in the book don't land here and get a post about my Slaanesh Daemons or something. The link above will take you to the full-size image on DA, please read the legal bit if you decide to do something with it!

In unrelated news, I've also added the short I wrote for Heresy a while back, Leviathan. I've not had time to get involved in the more recent HOES thread there, but I hope to do more soon!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The New Golden Age

This is an odd post. I just thought I had to call out how insanely good it is to be one of 'us' right now. We have the MCU movies finally doing what we always knew they could do, making classic characters amazing again simply by sticking true to the source material. We have DC... well, I like the TV shows, anyway. Hopefully the movies will hit their stride with Suicide Squad, but if not it looks like some pretty major crossover action is coming up in the future. Then there's the Dark Tower moving forwards, a new Trek series, Preacher (and possibly The Boys), The Punisher, Dr Strange, Iron Fist, The Defenders...

On the 40k front, we have GW finally noticing that the rules needed a damn good FAQing, though judging by Death From The Skies the message hasn't filtered through to all parts yet. Age of Sigmar is finally getting a points system and the new boardgames, like Betrayal At Calth, Overkill and now Warhammer Quest are moving things forward in intriguing ways. Warhammer Quest even adds mechanics like the old Fighting Fantasy books, which is very interesting.

Video games? Battlefleet Gothic, multiple Space Hulks, Total Warhammer, Inquisitor, some Titan Legions thing and Freeblade getting used to demo new iKit. Not to mention DoW III in the offing. I've been involved in this stuff in one form or another for over 20 years and I can't remember a time when quite so much was going on.

Oh, and there's a Warcraft film and Assassin's Creed both having another bash at the white whale that is the good video game movie. Not to mention all the amazing independent games and miniatures popping up all over the place.

This is in some ways a placeholder since I'll have something cool to show soon but I don't have it yet, but seriously, we live in exciting times!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Death from the Skies and new FAQs- it's all up in the air..

This was going to be a more general discussion of Death from the Skies, but I think there's more important things to talk about. If you've picked up a copy of White Dwarf or the book itself, you'll know DftS adds new rules for 'all' the 40k flyers. I say 'all' because as usual Forge World have missed the bus, including the Vendetta, which we should remember still only exists as a FW conversion kit for the Valkyrie as things stand. 

Many players might think that unless they want to use the new Dogfight rules, they can safely ignore the book. That's not likely to be true, since there are loud whispers of a consolidated 40k update some time this year and if these rules don't make it in in some form I'll be quite surprised. The important thing to note is that aside from Dogfights, which I'll admit I'm not keen on since they basically involve three rounds of scissor-paper-stone, there's some important new flyer rules in there.

Firstly, being the only player with flyers in Reserve grants Air Superiority, which allows the player with it to add or subtract 1 from their Reserve rolls and forces their opponent to subtract one from theirs. Potentially quite a big advantage, especially with combos.

Next, and most interesting, Flyers now have two additional characteristics, Pursuit and Agility. Pursuit just adds movement in Dogfights, but Agility allows a flyer rolling equal to or under it on d6 to make a 'Break Turn' at any point in their move of 90 degrees. For most flyers, it's usually 3, but for Heldrakes it's 4, meaning they'll pull it off 2/3 of the time and might just get that Baleflamer lined up. Eldar and Dark Eldar flyers go as high as 5, and the Crimson Hunter of course keeps Vector Dancer, adding some serious manoeuvrability. 

Then we come to a very odd thing indeed. According to the new book (and correct me if I missed something) only Fighters can now choose to have Skyfire, and they also suffer -1 BS vs ground targets. At a stroke, several armies just lost a lot of air-to-air firepower. Confusing things still further is a reiteration of the Hard To Hit rule saying that Blasts, Templates and auto-hit attacks cannot hit Flyers, whereas the new FAQs in discussion on the GW Facebook say that such attacks, if fired by a model with Skyfire, do hit them. This one is pretty confusing and will hopefully get cleared up now that GW is actually talking to people again.

I'm not going to dwell on the new Attack Patterns other that to say that (shock here) they're quite powerful but have some very vague rules. Those where the flyers are arranged diagonally show the distance, but say nothing about the angle, so that one's going to need hashing out, as is how, using the current movement rules, you're supposed to stay in formation. (Real aircraft can do this by flying in curves, but using the 40k method as soon as you turn it seems the formation is broken.)

Bah, I've confused myself now. Comments and discussion especially welcome on this one!